Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Little Paris Kitchen

Dimanche 10 Fevrier The Little Paris Kitchen
I'm so pleased Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen:120 Simple but Classic French Recipes has finally come out in the US (last week). It's a delight you won't want to miss.
British Rachel lives in a tiny walkup studio in the 19th. She came to Paris in 2006 as an au pair for a French family, then went on to study patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. She's written a number of French cookbooks and helped found La Cocotte.
What's dynamite about Rachel's cookbook is she take French classics, simplifies them and then gives them a witty surprising twist. To make absolutely sure every recipe worked and was divine, Rachel ran her own little restaurant in her studio twice a week (twice a month?). She ran a lottery for the invited lunch guest that was hotly sought after. I tried but was on the wrong side of the drink. The restaurant is no longer but you can make your own bistro cusine with the LPK cookbook. Her lentil salade was served up here last night - major yum.
Rachel has cooked and catered all over the world so there's a touch of fusion in her recipes. Rachel's chocolate lava cakes are to die for. Her series on the BBC is loads of fun.
A little exerpt from LPK on the famous French gouter:
Snacking between meals is not really the done thing in France. Even French food adverts come with the slogan: '
Pour etre en form, evitez de grignoter dans la journee'
(To stay in shape, avoid snacking during the day'). However, le gouter is an exception. Similar to the British 'afternoon tea', it's a little less formal - No cream cheese with scones here. A simple sweet or savory snack around 4 PM let's the French 'avoir le peche' (have the peach or be in great form).
Le gouter Is not just for kids, though; adults need their afternoon pick me up too! I love all the recipes in this chapter, but a particular favorite snack has to be a simple pain au chocolat - not the flaky croissant type more usually eaten for breakfast but, quite simply a piece of bread (fresh crusty baguette works best) stuffed with a piece of good-quality chocolate (dark or milk, follow your tastebuds, it doesn't really matter). This is something I came across during my time as a nanny and it's probably not the healthiest snack, but then le gouter is also about indulging oneself a little. And the French are the absolute masters at that...
I met Rachel at Amy Thomas' croissant tasting and she's every bit as fresh, down to earth and fun as her recipes are and totally accessible.
I'm a big fan of her French cookbook on Pates Tartiner though I don't trust myself to make the sweet ones...
They'd never make it into the jar...
Take a look at Rachel's The Little Paris Kitchen on Amazon - you can page through. Definitely watch her videos on Youtube (made in her tiny Paris apartment) and stop by her blog. That's where I found out about Andre Helle at 4 in the morning!


  1. She's adorable!
    Crazy for her simplified French touch to local cuisine...she makes it look so easy!

  2. Just watched her cooking videos from youtube yesterday and totally fell in love with her simple way of cooking French food! Gonna get her cook book as well.

    1. Rachel's cooking videos are addictive...so hard to stop :)

  3. What a fairy tale come true .. arrive in Paris as an au pair and become a writer and be successful ! and beautiful.

    1. Not exactly a fairytale
      Of a lot of years of very hard work were spent earning her 'bones' in Paris. Plus Rachel left a terrific PR job in fashion in London to follow her dream.

  4. Anonymous8:26 AM

    I just wanted to send you a quick message to complement you on your terrific blog. I have been to Paris three times and I absolutely love it there! You capture the essence of Paris more than any other blog I have read. The "p'tit" details are what make your blog so special, especially your beautiful artwork. Since I have only recently stumbled upon your blog, I am curious how you came to live in Paris, are you French? C'est mon rêve d'habite à Paris ( I am American) but it seems impossible! Your blog brings warmth to my heart! Your writing brings back so many special memories from the time I have spent there. I don't know if respond to "fan mail" but I hope you do because I would love hear how you are lucky enough to live in such an incredible place! Bisous from Les Étas Unis! --Sarah

    1. Thanks for the darling note S!
      I'm def not French...it was economics really
      Taking 3-4 trips to Paris a year is $$$$
      I thought if I could live there I could save some €€€
      This may not be the case since everything is so darn tempting.
      I feel I am being tested..and I could fail Big Time :)
      Cheers Carolg

    2. I can tell you, Sarah and all other PB readers, from first hand experience that Carol is a crazy rare combination of dreamer and doer. She's more alive than anybody I know -- always ready to try something new or learn something completely out of her comfort zone, endlessly curious about people and places and technology -- and her amazing optimism and sense of self enables her to leap over the stumbling blocks that keep most other people stuck and unhappy in their ruts.

  5. Reading above notes: Madame Carol: Whatever the future, none of it would/could be a failure. It's already such an experience, no? Rachel, she has the allure of a movie actress, or else it is your photo portraits that show us that. Maybe with a book like this, this non-cooking person (me) can finally try a little French cooking.

  6. Je suis tres jaloux que vous habite a Paris, Carol! I WILL spend a year there soon; plans to do so this year were suddenly derailed, but there's always next year. Where there's a will, there is always a way, non? x Katie

  7. I forgot to mention that I was thumbing through Rachel's book just yesterday, looking for some dinner inspiration. I want to give that wild mushroom terrine a try...yum. x Katie

  8. Anonymous10:43 AM

    Oh how delightful! this has been added to my Amazon wish list!

    Merci Carol!

  9. I have a little list of people that make French things seem even more wonderful than they are. You know, like confiture makes a tartine even Better? Rachel Khoo is on that list along with YOU!!
    Bises, Connie*

  10. Anonymous11:11 AM

    I love Rachel Khoo! Can't wait to get this book.
    xo, Lissy

  11. I added the book to my wish list on Amazon. If we get income tax money back, I'll get it!

  12. Her show run on the Cooking Channel in the US. It amazes me that she can cook in such a tiny space. She is a doll.

  13. I love your opening sketch and all of the pics that follow.
    My favorite is, " Pates Tartiner" that looks fabulous!

  14. Really adorable, and admire her inventiveness and style. Her recipes look terrific too. Thanks Carol!

  15. Madonna4:35 AM

    I just discovered Rachel a month or so ago. She is just darling. I try to get everyone to watch her on youtube. Her story is wonderful. I love how she said chefs are the worst critics and they did not believe she could cook, but after she tells them she went to school in Paris they say, well, ok. I love a success story.

    Oh, and I just found you and I am enjoying you also.

  16. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    Baysider Travel

  17. Anonymous7:52 AM

    I love this cookbook! and she did a show on BBC in the UK which was great.

    The duck a la orangina's amazing, as is the tartiflettes.

  18. Duck a la Orangina?! This I gotta try!

  19. Rachel is adorable and I can't get over your wonderful daily sketches... keep them coming... LOVE!!!!

  20. Such temptations, gorgeous spreads! :-)

  21. I haven't seen any of her shows here in Australia yet, but would love to one day. I'm completely in love with that Pates a Tartiner book. Next Paris souvenir?

  22. Hi
    Miss reading your blog, when i lived in Paris over 3,5 years ago all i did in my spare time was reading your writings. So excited to be comjming back to Paris next week... If you plan to visit Bali or Jakarta do let us know.



  23. You have made my day! I haven't heard about Rachel Khoo in Perth, so after seeing your blog i did a google search and she is fascinating and inspirational. I even just ordered the book!!!! Some of my best cooking books come from reading blogs. Thank you!! Leanne.

  24. Anonymous3:39 PM

    "A simple sweet or savory snack around 4 PM let's the French 'avoir le peche' (have the peach or be in great form)."

    Small detail. La peche = the peach. le peché = the sin. Avoir la peche = to be in form.
    Gwendoline in Australia.


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